Topeka Friday Chev S-10 Qualifying Notes




BRAD JETER, 'SPONSOR-NEEDED' CHEVY S-10, is No. 1 after two qualifying rounds, with a track record elapsed time of 7.621 seconds at 176.07 mph. Following the U.S. Nationals, Jeter, third in Winston Championship points, wasn't sure he'd be able to finish the season due to lack of sponsorship. Two friends of his, who do not wish to be identified, stepped up with funds to help Jeter complete the season.

JETER: "That puts an awful lot of pressure on you, especially after going to Indy and knowing I wasn't able to afford to run the rest of the season. It's hard to think it's going to be your last race. I have been racing since I was six years old. I left Indy, where I lost first round, feeling down in the dumps. Then two of my good buddies said since you are in a position to win a championship we will help you for the last four races. I'm grateful to them for giving me the opportunity. We will finish the season and try to win the championship. The competition is tough with (Bob) Panella and (Mark) Osborne (Osborne is first, Panella second in points) and Mike Coughlin is closing behind us. It's going to make for an awful tough next three races, four counting this one. Now I'll be able to give it a valiant try. We'll try to close out this season and hopefully be able to race next year. If a sponsor doesn't become available, I'll probably be selling used cars at my family business and that's not what I want to do." ON THE NO. 1 QUALIFYING RUN: "I have an ear infection and I wasn't even going to come to this event. I felt terrible and the doctor put me on antibiotics. I told my guys this morning that I am going to do a burnout, I'm not feeling well, and try not to put my life or anyone else's in danger. And see what happens. If I feel I'm comfortable I will take it down, or take it through low gear and get a clutch reading. I just got in there and I felt right a home and took it down the track. I was second in the first session, and first in the second session. I've got a great bunch of guys working for me. Hopefully we'll be a contender on race day. That's our main goal. This is an awfully tough class wih a great bunch of drivers. Any one of them can win. It's nice to be No. 1, but we have two rounds of qualifying left. There are some awfully good trucks out there that can run some good numbers. The extra $1500 (to qualify No. 1) will help our program out a bit." WILL YOU RACE MORE CAUTIOUSLY KNOWING YOUR FUNDS ARE LOW? "If I don't have bad luck and I don't break anything we will be able to go to the races. I have got some parts, a spare engine. It's very hard to race against guys who have million-dollar budgets, where I've got no budget. It makes it very tough. I guess you have to work a little harder and you have to put in a little more effort to make sure you do well. I'm not running my program any differently even if I had a million dollars. I'm here to win races."

MARK WHISNANT, WHISNANT CONTRACTING CHEVY S-10, No. 17 right now (DNQ), accidentally ran over his father Reid in the staging lanes in the first qualifying session today. Reid suffered a broken wrist and foot and was treated at the Stormont Vail Regional Health Center and released. Reid Whisnant, a 25-year drag-racing veteran (retired) and owner of Whisnant Contracting Company in Stockbridge, Ga., is planning to open RW Performance Center next door, focusing on engine building, chassis work, racing collectibles and apparel. Reid flew home Friday night.

MARK WHISNANT: "We just had a little mishap getting to the starting line. They had us blocked in the pits, so we got to the staging lanes a little bit late. Pit control brought us around as we were scurrying to get to the starting line. I was getting cinched up and he got caught between a golf cart and the truck." HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT RUNNING OVER YOUR OWN DAD? "I feel real bad about it. Honestly, it's what happens when you get in a hurry, mistakes happen. You learn from your mistakes, I guess. I was cinching my belts and getting my helmet on and I looked up and it had already gotten his feet. As soon as it happened it was too late for me to brake. We were moving pretty fast going up the hill. I said that's it, let's all stop where we are and start the next session. But they made us go. Hopefully I will do something decent on Saturday that we can talk about besides this."

REID: "We were at the end between race cars, trucks and golf carts and the officials were saying come on, come on. The golf cart was probably 12 feet from the race truck and I kind of stopped, turned around, kind of running along side the race truck in front. I was kind of turned around and the front wheel caught on my toes, I got pushed away from it, and I put my weight down on the palm of my hand as I fell. It cracked the bone in my wrist. Maybe I'm too old to get out of the way of the race truck. I've been racing for 25 years and I'ver never gotten hurt and now I get run over with our race truck." WHAT ARE YOUR INJURIES? "The ball of my foot behind my toes is broken. It got me on my left foot and right wrist. If they were both on the same side it would be easier." TIM FREEMAN, BLUEGRASS TRANSPORTATION CHEVY S-10 owned by Kessinger Motorsports, has resigned from the team as of Wednesday, Sept. 29. Freeman, sixth in Winston Championship points, will not race this weekend but is expected to compete at the next event and the rest of the season with a team yet to be named.FREEMAN: "The reason I left is that there was too much conflict between team owner (Jim Kessinger) and team members. I decided that before the situation got worse I would step aside. I hate it for Chevrolet because I'm sixth in the points. Hopefully in the next race I will have a Chevy S-10 to race and finish in the top 10. I feel like I have an obligation to Chevrolet and GM Raceshop, but it's best for Kessinger Motorsports that I step aside. There's no hard feelings between any of us. I'm sure Mr. Kessinger did what he thought was best, and I don't have a problem with that. Hopefully by Memphis I can find an engine and have a Pro Stock Truck to race. It's not cofirmed yet, and it's really hard to find an engine to be competitive. I don't want to go to the race track to just be there, I want to have a chance to qualify and a chance to win the race. I hate not being able to race the whole year in Pro Stock Truck. That really hurts me to not be able to finish the year and probably not finish in the top 10 if I don't race."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Mike Coughlin